Common Core and the Humanities: Global Approaches for Social Studies and ELA Liz Howald, Program Director firstname.lastname@example.org Some Examples of Informational Texts See also http://resources.primarysource.org/nonfiction for suggestions appropriate for different grade levels. Historical Accounts • Preface to The Search for Modern China by Jonathan Spence, or Chapter 1, “The Glory of Ming” • Learning Each Other’s Historical Narrative by Sami Adwan and Dan Bar (http://vispo.com/PRIME/narrative.pdf) Memoirs • Unbowed: A Memoir, by Wangari Maathai • First They Killed My Father, by Loung Ung Oral Histories • “Bringing Them Home Oral History Project” from the National Library of Australia (http://www.nla.gov.au/digicoll/bringing‐them‐home‐online.html) • “Beyond the Fire: Teen Experiences of War” (http://archive.itvs.org/beyondthefire/index.html) Blogs • Mona Eltahawy (http://www.monaeltahawy.com) • Global Voices (http://globalvoicesonline.org/) International Newspapers • http://newspapermap.com International NGO Reports • “Children in Hazardous Work, What We Know, What We Need to Know,” from the U.N. International Labour Organization • “Impact of Armed Conflict on Children” from the United Nations (http://www.un.org/rights/introduc.htm)
Speeches/Rhetoric • Speeches of 9—11 (http://www.americanrhetoric.com/) • President Obama’s Speech on the Iraq War (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the‐press‐ office/2010/08/31/remarkes‐president‐address‐nation‐end‐combat‐operations‐iraq) with Juan Cole’s “The Speech Obama Should Give About the Iraq War (But Won’t)” (http://www.juancole.com/2010/08/the‐speech‐a‐president‐should‐give‐about‐the‐iraq‐ war.html) News Broadcasts • http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra Debates • “Democracy, Sooner or Later?” (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/red/rountable) TED Talks • “The Danger of a Single Story” by Chimamanda Adichie • “Why Nations Should Pursue ‘Soft Power’” by Shashi Tharoor Essays • “An Image of Africa: Racisim in Conrad’s ‘The Heart of Darkness,’” by Chinua Achebe • “Once Upon a Time in Afghanistan,” by Mohammad Qayoumi (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/05/27/once_upon_a_time_in_afghanistan) • “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell Investigative Journalism • “Watershed of Waste: Afghanistan’s Kajaki Dam and USAID,” from Global Post (http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia‐ pacific/afgahnistan/111007/watershed‐waste‐afghanistan%E2%80%99s‐kajaki‐dam‐ and‐u) Manuals • On Guerilla Warfare, by Che Guevara Foundational Government Documents • Vietnamese Declaration of Independence (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1945vietnam.html)
Activity 1: Korean Labor Strike Integrating Multiple Quantitative and Qualitative Sources Introduction: The photograph used in this activity shows unionized auto parts workers in South Korea striking for higher salaries and better working conditions after weeks of failed negotiations with the management of Yoosung Enterprise. Charts suggest the intense pressure that steep economic growth places on workers. Tensions between the employees and management—as well as between the employees and police—are evident in the photo and accompanying article, both of which underscore South Korean workers’ continued struggle to claim their piece of the country’s growing wealth. These activities support the following Common Core Reading Standards for Informational Texts in Social Studies: Standard 7: o Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g., charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in print or digital texts o Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media in order to address a question or solve a problem Part 1: Learning from Charts Identify facts, make inferences, form questions Part 2: Reading a Photo as Social Science Evidence Part 3: Answering a Question by Integrating Data from Multiple Source Types Source: Korea: Chronic Challenges, Continued Hope from Primary Source World http://resources.primarysource.org/koreachallengeshopes
South Korean Industrialization Fact Sheet Part 1: TIMELINE 1945—1961 South Korea’s economic system was in chaos, and it was primarily an agrarian country. South Korea’s first President, Syngman Rhee, was focused on political and international issues, and the economy suffered as a result. 2 Major Economic Developments: • Import Substitution Industrialization: The government made an effort to reduce dependence on foreign markets by increasing domestic production of goods and substituting those goods for imported items. • Development of the Private Sector: The post‐war years saw the beginnings of South Korean chaebols. A chaebol is a large and powerful business group, often controlled by a single family. In Korean, chaebol means “business family” or “monopoly.” Early chaebols often received government aid and favoritism. The chaebols formally became financially independent from the government and foreign loans in the 1980s. Early chaebols that still exist include Samsung, Hyundai, and LG. 1962—1966 During this period, South Korea went through the early stages industrialization, including the increased availability and use of electricity throughout the country. Industries were fertilizer, oil refining, synthetic fibers, and cement. 1967—1971 This four‐year period saw increased modernization in South Korea, including the development of industries built around the production of steel, machinery, and chemicals. 1972—1976 In the early seventies, Korea’s rapid industrialization allowed it to focus on exports for the first time. The new industrial structure allowed the country to promote heavy and chemical industries. 1977—1981 Korea became a competitive player in the world market in industries that relied on technology and skilled labor, including machinery, electronics, and shipbuilding. 1982—1986 Korea’s economy began a shift toward technology‐intensive industries. 1987—1991 The focus on globalization and technology‐intensive industries continued, and the attitude toward imports became more relaxed as expendable income increased among South Korean’s middle class. 1992—1996 Korea’s economy was booming due to its success in high‐technology fields such as microelectronics, new materials, fine chemicals, bioengineering, optics, and aerospace. 1997—1998 The Asian financial crisis, caused by a shortage of foreign exchange, inadequately developed financial sectors, the global economic downturn, and well‐intentioned (but ultimately ill‐advised) actions by the IMF, hit South Korea and caused its GDP to temporarily plummet 6% in 1998. 1999—2007 South Korea instituted a number of financial reforms following the Asian financial crisis and quickly resumed a steady economic growth (gaining 9% in 1999‐2000). South Korea became one of the world’s 20 largest economies. 2008—2010 South Korea’s reformed economic policies and focus on foreign investment and imports helped it to become one of the only large OECD countries to avoid recession during the global recession of the late 2000s.
Part 2: WORKERS’ EXPERIENCE IN SOUTH KOREA Summary Few people would dispute that South Korea’s evolving economic policies have led to rapid growth and investment since 1961. However, some people argue that Korean workers have paid a large price for the booming economy. For much of South Korea’s history, labor rights such as a fair minimum wage, a regulated workweek, and safe working conditions were not respected. Health insurance for employees was almost non‐existent until the 1990s. And, although many workers’ wages increased rapidly with industrialization, their wages often did not keep up with the increased cost of living. In response, South Korean workers formed labor unions. The unions organized massive strikes to protest low wages, long hours, and dangerous working environments. In the first three months of 1989, there were more than 300 organized labor strikes. The strikes were effective, and wages increased first in the manufacturing sector and then in the wider economy. These workers paved the way for the increased rights and wages South Korean workers enjoy today. However, labor unions continue to advocate for more rights, fair wages, and greater protections for their workers. Quick Labor Facts • In 1986, the minimum wage was US$287/month. The average South Korean worker earned US$381/month. The government estimated that the wage needed to sustain a “decent” way of life was US$588/month for a family of four. Thus, the average worker only earned 2/3 of what the government thought was necessary for a “decent” life. • In 1986, almost 3% (142,000) of the 5 million South Koreans working in factories were injured so badly that they had to be hospitalized for more than four days. • In 1986, an average of over four workers were killed each day in industrial accidents. • In 1987, semi‐skilled South Korean workers worked an average of 55—60 hours/week. Unskilled workers worked an average of 84 hours/week. Unskilled workers earned about US$125/month. • In 1988, manufacturing workers received a 20% salary increase. • In 1989, manufacturing workers received a 25% salary increase. • In 1989, wages increased across the entire economy by 18.7% • In 1990, families in the slums of Seoul usually had electricity and running water, as well as a small range for cooking, a TV, and a radio. • By the late 1980s, less than 10% of South Korea’s population lived below the poverty line. • In 1989, legal work hours were reduced to 44 hours/week, but this was not enforced or respected. • In 1994, average real annual work hours were about 48 hours/week in manufacturing. • Following the Asian Financial crisis, average real annual work hours were about 50 hours/week. • In 2005, the average South Korean employee earned US$2,179/month. The average accountant earned US$3,517/month, the average miner earned US$1,983/month, the average car mechanic earned US$1,769/month, and the average manufacturer earned $2,592/month. • In 2009, South Korea’s minimum wage was about US$3.2/hour. • In 2010, 7.3% of South Koreans worked in agriculture, 24.3% worked in manufacturing, and 68.4% worked in the services industry. (from Andrea Matles Savada and William Shaw, editors. South Korea: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library ofCongress, 1990. http://countrystudies.us/south-korea/, “Overview of Current Economic Conditions in South Korea.” Global Policy Network. April, 2001. http://www.gpn.org/data/korea/korea‐analysis.pdf )
Riot police carry away striking workers at a plant of Yoosung Enterprise in Asan, South Chungcheong Province, Tuesday. Police raided the auto parts manufacturing plant and took some 500 unionized workers to police stations. / Korea Times photo by Kim Ju‐young Weeklong strike disrupts production of major automakers By Lee Hyo‐sik Thousands of riot police raided a regional auto parts manufacturing plant, Tuesday, to put an end to a week‐long “illegal” strike that disrupted the production of Hyundai Motor and other major automakers. More than 2,500 police entered the factory of Yoosung Enterprise in Asan, South Chungcheong Province, at 4:00 p.m., where hundreds of unionized workers have been holed up over the past week, according to South Chungcheong Provincial Police Agency. Police met little resistance from the workers while dispersing them. About 500 unionists were apprehended. “We had to use force to disperse the striking workers and hand control of the facility back to the management. The raid was unavoidable as last‐minute talks between management and the employees on strike fell apart,” a police officer said.
Police will decide whether to detain the workers or not after looking into their involvement in the walkout. Police obtained arrest warrants for two union leaders and a search warrant for union offices from the Daejeon District Court. He said 31 companies of riot police and three police vehicles equipped with water cannons were deployed to the scene. Police helicopters hovered above the site to monitor the movements of the striking workers. More than 500 unionized workers began occupying the factory on May 18 after they failed to reach common ground with their management on working conditions and salaries. Following the walkout, the management of Yoosung Enterprise, which specializes in piston rings, cylinder liners and other key components of car engines, imposed a lockout on the plant. On Monday, the company’s management and labor held unsuccessful talks to resolve the confrontation. The Korea Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), affiliated with Yoosung labor union, released a statement condemning the police raid. “Law enforcement authorities refused to follow law and order by sending riot police into the plant. This is tantamount to a barbaric act. We will fight along with unionized workers of Yoosung Enterprise to the end until we achieve our goals,” the KCTU said. It said it will launch a nationwide campaign to force President Lee Myung‐bak to step down. Despite the strike coming to an end on Tuesday, it will likely take some time for the plant to resume operations, meaning that automakers will have to grapple with output disruption for the time being. According to the auto industry, the ongoing strike has forced automakers to suspend production of several vehicles due to a shortage of engine components. Yoosung supplies key engine components to all five automakers operating here. In particular, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, the nation’s two largest automakers, depend heavily on its supply as they receive 70 percent of engine‐related components from the firm. Hyundai and Kia said if the walkout lasts through the end of May, they will be forced to cut output by as much as 50,000 cars. The other three carmakers — GM Korea, Renault Samsung and Ssangyong Motor — will see their production drop by a combined 10,000. Hyundai has already been forced to shut down its assembly line for the Tucson ix sports utility vehicle, while Kia had to halt production of its Carnival passenger minivan. According to the Korea Employers Federation, the labor strike has already cost automakers over 150 billion won in lost output as of Tuesday. From May 26, they will likely incur over 100 billion won in losses on a daily basis.
Character Profile Worksheet South Korean Strike Photo Labor Union Member Directions Use the information from the article, the South Korean Industrialization Fact Sheet, and the data from the pre‐learning activity to create a character profile for one of the people in the South Korean Strike photo. 1. Research South Korean names and their meanings.* Then choose a name for your character. Write his or her name and its meaning in the space below. 2. In what industry does your character work? Draw on your knowledge of major South Korean industries. Draw a picture of or a symbol for your character in the box above. 3. What 2 complaints does your character want his or her company to address? How have these issues affected your character’s life? Be specific. 4. What were your character’s motivations for joining the protest? 5. What emotions did your character feel during the protest? * Try websites like this one for names and their meanings: http://babynamesworld.parentsconnect.com/korean‐names.html
Character Profile Worksheet South Korean Strike Photo Member of Police Department Directions Use the information from the article, the South Korean Industrialization Fact Sheet, and the graphs from the pre‐learning activity to create a character profile for one of the people in the South Korean Strike photo. 1. Research South Korean names and their meanings.* Then choose a name for your character. Write his or her name and its meaning in the space below. 2. What were your character’s motivations for joining the police? Draw a picture of or a symbol for your character in the box above. 3. What does your character feel about the labor union’s complaints? Why? Be specific. 4. What emotions did your character feel during the protest? 5. What are your character’s hopes for the future of Korea’s economy and workers? * Try websites like this one for names and their meanings: http://babynamesworld.parentsconnect.com/korean‐names.html
Activity 2: Children & War Analyzing Text Structure and Develop Resource Questions Introduction: NGO or governmental reports and testimonies are two types of global nonfiction texts that can deepen students’ understanding of global issues. In this cluster of activities, we’ll look at the experiences of children in war zones—in aggregate and at the individual level—and consider how pairing of texts can enhance student comprehension and engagement when studying complex documents. We will also consider how students can conduct short research projects to support their reading of informational texts. These activities support the following Common Core Anchor Reading and Writing Standards for ELA and History/Social Studies: o Standard 5: Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole. o Standard 7: Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse in diverse formats and media, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words… …conduct short as well as moresustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation. o Standard 2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through effective selection, organization, and analysis of content. Part 1: Analyzing the Structure and Purpose of Informational Texts Part 2: Integrating Information from Two Types of Sources Part 3: Developing a Research Question Sources: o Impact of Armed Conflict on Children (http://www.un.org/rights/introduc.htm) & (http://www.unicef.org/graca) o Beyond the Fire: Teen Experiences of War
Part 1: Excerpts from Impact of Armed Conflict on Children (1996) http://www.unicef.org/graca/a51306_en.pdf Fifty‐first session Item 108 of the provisional agenda PROMOTION AND PROTECTION OF THE RIGHTS OF CHILDREN Impact of armed conflict on children Note by the Secretary‐General 1. The Secretary‐General has the honour to transmit herewith to the General Assembly the study on the impact of armed conflict on children, prepared by Ms. Grac’a Machel, the expert appointed by him on 8 June 1994, pursuant to General Assembly resolution 48/157 of 20 December 1993. The study was undertaken with the support of the United Nations Centre for Human Rights and the United Nations Children’s Fund, as provided for in the resolution, and is the fruit of extensive and wide‐ranging collaborations. 2. In the study, the expert proposes the elements of a comprehensive agenda for action by Member States and the international community to improve the protection and care of children in conflict situations, and to prevent these conflicts from occurring. The study demonstrates the centrality of these issues to international human rights, peace and security and development agendas, and should serve to promote urgent and resolute action on the part of the international community to redress the plight of children affected by armed conflicts. 3. The Secretary‐General trusts that the General Assembly will give thorough consideration to this study and to the mechanisms required for following up and monitoring the implementation of the conclusions and recommendations it will adopt on this important subject. IMPACT OF ARMED CONFLICT ON CHILDREN Report of the expert of the Secretary‐General, Ms. Grac’a Machel, Submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolution 48/157 I. INTRODUCTION A. The attack on children 1. Millions of children are caught up in conflicts in which they are not merely bystanders, but targets. Some fall victim to a general onslaught against civilians; others die as part of a calculated genocide. Still other children suffer the effects of sexual violence or the multiple deprivations of armed conflict that expose them to hunger or disease. Just as shocking, thousands of young people are cynically exploited as combatants. 2. In 1995, 30 major armed conflicts raged in different locations around the world. 1/ All of them took place within States, between factions split along ethnic, religious, or cultural lines. The conflicts destroyed crops, places of worship, and schools. Nothing was spared, held sacred, or protected—not children, families or communities. In the past decade, an
estimated two million children have been killed in armed conflict. Three times as many have been seriously injured or permanently disabled, many of them maimed by landmines. 2/ Countless others have been forced to witness or even to take part in horrifying acts of violence. 3. These statistics are shocking enough, but more chilling is the conclusion to be drawn from them: more and more of the world is being sucked into a desolate moral vacuum. This is a space devoid of the most basic human values; a space in which children are slaughtered, raped, and maimed; a space in which children are exploited as soldiers; a space in which children are starved and exposed to extreme brutality. Such unregulated terror and violence speak of deliberate victimization. There are few further depths to which humanity can sink. Part 2a: Selected Highlights from United Nations Report: Impact of Armed Conflict on Children (1996); http://www.un.org/rights/concerns.htm#flight) >…Attention must be given to the special circumstances created by armed conflict. This includes the millions of war‐affected children and their families being forced to flee their homes, to be displaced within their countries or crossing borders as refugees. During armed conflicts, children and women also face a heightened risk of rape, …and gender‐based violence, which are downplayed as an unfortunate but inevitable side effect of war. Children are increasingly participating in war as combatants, and they are being deliberately recruited by government or rebel armies. Both during and after conflicts, children remain exposed to the dangers of bombing, landmines and millions of pieces of unexploded ordnance—bombs, shells, and grenades that fail to detonate on impact. >…Coupled with the rapid social change which often precedes or accompanies war, armed conflict leads to a breakdown in the family support systems so essential to a child’s survival and development. Other forms of protection also slip away, particularly government and community support systems. >…During flight from areas of conflict, families and children continue to be exposed to multiple physical dangers. They are threatened by sudden attacks, shelling, snipers and landmines. Often, they must walk for days with only limited quantities of water and food. Under such circumstances, children become acutely undernourished and prone to illness, and they are often the first to die. Girls in flight are especially vulnerable to genderbased violence. >…Children who are displaced but remain in their own countries face perilous circumstances, including a higher risk of dying. >…Unaccompanied children are those who are separated from both parents and are not in the care of another adult who, by law or custom, has taken responsibility to care for them. As a priority in all emergencies, procedures should be adopted to ensure the survival and protection of unaccompanied children.
Part 2b: Selections from Teenagers’ Oral History Transcripts from Beyond the Fire: Teen Experiences in War http://archive.itvs.org/beyondtehfire/transcripts.html Naima Margan, Somalia “Normal Life in War” My life was pretty normal in the sense that, what is normal to me is seeing cars filled with weapons, going past your house. People carrying guns all the time. Bullets flying by and sometimes a few miles away there’s the actual fighting and the people that were fighting, were kids. And they were 16, 17, 18. Those were the people that were riding those cars with all these weapons, because that’s the only thing they can do. Everywhere you go, you’re reminded by something that’s there. You see a person with no legs walking with their hands. Or a person with no hands. It’s a reality, really, for you. John Makol, Sudan “Attacked by the Military” The military attacked our village at night. We were all sleeping. Suddenly there was the sound of gunfire and I ran outside. My parents were not around. Many people were killed in front of me. I ran way as fast as possible and joined a group of people that were fleeing. There were some adults who were guiding us to safety, telling us where to go. In the group, I saw my uncle who had also escaped. I asked him if he knew where my parents were, but he said don’t worry about your parents we’ll find them but right now we need to find a safe place. I didn’t know if my parents were alive or dead. I just thought at least I was safe with my uncle. John Makol Sudan “Walking a Thousand Miles to Safety” It was a long journey, maybe more than 1,000 miles, walking for days until we reached Ethiopia. The soldiers followed us as we ran from one place to the next. They would attack us and many people were killed. We kept running. Some people were too sick or too weak to keep up with the group and would fall behind. We didn’t see them because they died or were killed by wild animals. Our situation was hopeless and I thought we were going to die soon. We ate the leaves of trees because we could not find food. When we reached Ethiopia, things got better and we felt ok, we got food and clothing. We were there for two years. Then the civil war started in Ethiopia and we had to run once again. Beserta Osmani, Sosovo “Stranded at the Border” When we got off the train, at the border, the Macedonia and Kosovo border, the police, they made us just walk through the railway track. They didn’t want to leave us [sic] to go off the track because they were saying that the fields have mines in them. They just wanted to humiliate the whole population, imagine two people at a time on a railroad track. When we arrived, there was a big field and it was crowded with people that had arrived there before. They were stuck in that field for weeks. Some of them had lit some fires with pieces of wood. And there were organizations giving food. You would see sick people there. There were some that were really dying there because it wasn’t a very good area. You had no shelter, you had nowhere to sleep. There were families that were saying that it was raining last night, people were getting sick. It was very sad.
Chuku Mansaray, Sierra Leone “Walking Home from School” From school when we’re going home we talk about when we grow up, how many kids are we going to have, what we are going to become, how we gonna be in the future…My own thing was, I want to become a doctor. Some of them want to become business manager. We were not able to think about like, we are going to have war in our country. We don’t think about that. But as time passed, a lot of people died. They take a lot of people, like my friend, they take all three. I was safe because…when the rebels came I was at my aunt’s. And when everything is finished, I hear that my three friends were taken away, the rebels took them to go to the bush…When they came, they just find kids like us, and just rape, just kill. When they catch you, they going to give you drugs, like they going to inject you to become one of them. Chuku Mansaray, Sierra Leone “Child Soldiers at the Door” My mom and all the families they were in the house. When they were in there, the rebel, little boy, came to the door and kock and he was holding a gun. The long one—bigger than him. The boy said, we want money from this house. We heard that your husband is from America so we need one million dollars. Zubair Ahmed, Afghanistan “Walking on Land Mines” There is a Taliban checkpoint and on the other side there’s a lot of…land mines…so they can’t get through because of the mine, so they were forcing people to walk on the mine, blow up the mine so they can get through to fight. When they got no choice, they come back to Kabul. Taliban are searching houses for boys and young men to take with them to the north and try to force them to walk on the mine line and blow up the mines so they can get through…I heard one of my friends say my uncle’s son has been dead walking on a bomb for the Taliban to get to the Northern Alliance. Fouad Saleh, Iraq “Unwelcome Guests” I remember when I was five years old I start in first grade. I went for three years then quit. We went to public school, which the government paid for. It was hard to live in the refugee camp and the school was really far away. It took an hour to walk there. Especially in the winter it was very cold, it took an hour to an hour and a half to get there. The Syrian people had everything, they had a bus to take them to school and back. But they didn’t do that for us because we were living in a camp and there [sic] made a difference, between refugee and citizens. When I quit school, I had to sit at home, there was nothing to do. I was too young to find a job.
Part 3: From Reading to Reasearch Activity from WriteBoston Introduction: On the website Beyond the Fire: Teen Experiences of War, teenage refugees from wartorn countries around the world share their stories. Those stories offer powerful insight into the personal experience of war, but they do not give us factual information about specific wars or information that can help us to understand the personal experiences. To find that information, we need to do research. The final part of Activity 2 asks students to create a research question and to write a supporting paragraph that explains how and why they chose their particular questions. Part 3 of this activity supports the following Common Core Anchor Reading and Writing Standards for ELA and History/Social Studies: • Standard 2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content. • Standard 7: Conduct short as well as moresustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation. GOALS 1. For students to demonstrate their understanding of readings about the wartime experiences of teenagers in Somalia. 2. For students to develop authentic research questions based on their reading. 3. For students to write explanatory texts that contextualize their research questions. TASK Your job is to figure out what you need to know about the war in Somalia in order to better understand the experiences of the Somali teenagers whose stories you read about on Beyond the Fire. You will use those stories to identify a question about the war in Somalia. You will then write a paragraph in which you use the reading as evidence to explain how you came up with the question and why you are asking it. PURPOSE Research is the process of finding information. Research is most useful and effective when we are trying to answer a question—like “Which phone plan will give me the best value?” or “What caused our current economic crisis?” Your purpose is to practice developing research questions and explanatory writing.
GRADING CRITERIA • Your question should be clearly‐stated and appropriate for research (i.e., not a question that can be answered by a single word or fact). • Use evidence from the stories in Beyond the Fire to explain why you are interested in this question and why it is a useful question for gaining a better understanding of the war in Somalia. • Use at least two passages (they can be from the same person). Citations for each source should be provided at the bottom of the page. • Your answer should be written in your own words. If you use phrases or sentences from your sources, make sure you put them in quotation marks. • Follow the rules of Standard English. Use complete sentences. Edit for grammar and punctuation. A NOTE FOR TEACHERS Preparing Questions A mini‐lesson on effective research questions will be an essential element in the success of this assignment. Questions that can be answered with “yes,” “no,” or a single word, phrase, or fact (i.e., “Who was fighting in Somalia?”) are not useful for research—though it may be important to answer some of these questions as a group in order to move on to more productive questions. Effective research questions are open‐ended and often start with a “How” or “Why” or even “What” (i.e., “Why were people fighting in Somalia?” or “How did the war make people die of hunger?”). Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions, a new book from the Right Question Institute, is a useful resource for questions. Preparing: Research Sources Research sources for this assignment will depend on the grade level and research experience of your students as well as the amount of time available. Older students who have experience with research can find their own sources. In other situations, you may want to provide your students with an article bank or pre‐selected list of websites. Similarly, experienced students should provide a full MLA citation for each source, while younger students or students working from an article bank or website list can just provide their names. FollowUp: Answers Whenever we ask a question, it is critical that we answer it. There are many ways to follow up on this assignment, depending on the time and curricular needs: • The teacher can find the answers to the questions and share them with the students. • Students can research their own questions and write informative/explanatory paragraphs that answer them. • Students can exchange questions so that they are researching and wring an answer paragraph for someone else’s question. • Students can revise their initial question and answer paragraphs in mini‐research reports. • Groups of students can work together to create larger research reports that provide an overview of the topic along with information and explanation about the specific issues they have researched. These reports can take the form of newspapers, newsletters, posters, PowerPoints, Prezis, iMovies, or other visual, digital, and multi‐media formats.
Additional Resources Common Core • Common Core State Standards Initiative http://www.corestandards.org/ • Partnership for 21st Century Skills Common Core Toolkit http://www.p21.org/tools‐ and‐resources/publications/p21‐common‐core‐toolkit • Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers http://www.parcconline.org/ • Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium http://www.k12.wa.us/smarter/ • Measuring Text Complexity (Kansas DOE) http://www.ksde.org/Default.aspx?tabid=4605 Informational Texts • Nonfiction Resource Guide (Primary Source) http://resources.primarysource.org/nonfiction • Regional Resource Guides (Primary Source) http://www.primarysource.org/resourceguides • Primary Source World http://www.primarysource.org/primarysourceworld • World Digital Library http://www.wdl.org/en/ • Online Newspapers http://www.onlinenewspapers.com/ Other • Primary Source http://www.primarysource.org • Liz Howald: email@example.com